Friday, August 31, 2012

Quick 5

Goodbye, August, Hello, Fall.  Right?  Fall is coming, right?

1.  No doubt the biggest news of our week was the purchase of our very first minivan.  Tuesday was a crazy day, and if I had planned it out I would have planned it very differently.  I had seen a van at a dealership on Craigslist and we made an appointment to see it on Tuesday at 3:00.  After I made the appointment I got a call from a guy who goes to our church who runs the GO dealerships in town.  He had seen our prayer request about a van and asked if he could help us.  After looking at his inventory, we decided that he indeed had one that seemed to be very similar to the first one we were going to look at.  So we decided to see the first van, then go to his store and see his.  I really wanted to work with someone from church, so we kind of had it in our minds that we would probably end up buying his car.  Well, after seeing both, we really liked the first one best.  It was in much better condition.  I felt terrible, because I wanted to give the other guy our business, but I didn't want the one he had.  He said he had one more he could bring down in price for us, but it was at another dealership.  So we went to dinner while he sent one of his guys to the other dealership to bring it to us.  When we got back an hour later, we immediately realized the second one he brought would not work; it had a bench seat in the middle rather than the bucket seats.  Plus it cost more, and I did not want to spend more money for something I didn't really want.  Sadly we left, and decided to go get the other van.  By this time it was 7:15 (30 minutes past Joya's bedtime), but we knew that the other dealership wouldn't hold the car for us.  And Lee didn't have the next day off of work or anything.  So we called them and decided to go over right then to get it.  We got back to that dealership at 7:45 and began the paperwork process (one hour past Joya's bedtime.)  I'm sure you all know, which we didn't, that it takes almost two hours to sign everything.  The men working with us were very gracious about our kids, but it was late.  We finally shook hands with them at 9:30, the exact time that Joya went nuclear.  I put the screaming/crying girls in our car and Lee drove the van home.  I am so grateful we do not have to buy cars every day.  And I really like the van, so I think it was worth it.

2.  Everything else pales in comparison to that adventure.  So here is a video of Joya singing "Old MacDonald."  It's her favorite song, and is quite handy since she's been obsessed with cows for the past week.

3.  And you can't have a video of one girl without the other.  Here's Alaina saying her verses from Cubbies, which started up again last week:

4.  Alaina made us laugh in the midst of our car buying adventure.  We had dinner at Wendy's that night, and they had a lovely gal dressed up as Wendy for the evening.  The girls were quite shy when it came to meeting her.  Later, as we were eating, Alaina tooted nice and loud.  Then she said, "I hope Wendy didn't hear that!"  The irony is that she's never seemed to care before.  Glad to know she is modest in the presence of fast food chain mascots.

5.  And finally, a look back four years ago, when Alaina met her very best friend Avery:

Have a lovely Labor Day weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quick 5

Surprisingly, I feel like we have a lot to talk about this week.  We'll see how it goes.

1.  I suppose the biggest news of the week is the announcement of the impending birth of our 3rd child.  I am crossing out of the first trimester into the second, and I'm finally starting to feel normal again.  Starting.  It's official: early pregnancy and I are archenemies.  For weeks Alaina told me I needed to see a doctor about all the throwing up.  We finally told her about the baby, and now she just knows it's the baby making me sick.  Anyway, since this pregnancy has followed the path of my other two so far, I'm hoping it will continue the trend and that I'll feel normal again within another three weeks or so.  I had a good doctor's visit this week.  We weren't able to hear the heartbeat, but the doctor pulled out this I-pod looking thing that was a handheld ultrasound.  We were able to see the baby wiggling its little arms and legs in there, and we saw the heart beating strong, so both the doctor and I felt better after that.  Anyway.  Lots of adjustments coming up, but it's hard to not feel excited about finding out who this tiny person is.

2.  This pregnancy has made this summer rough and lame in many ways.  The girls and I have done very little, because of how I was feeling.  Thankfully they like to watch movies.  But last Friday I finally felt good enough to take them to the park.  Joya was a bit cranky, but it was good to get outside and play around.

 3.  Feeling poorly has also put unpacking and settling in this house on hold.  But I'm finally feeling inspired.  And I finally bought curtains.  After discussing it extensively on my girls' weekend, I decided to just go with my gut and get red curtains.  It's always been the first thing to pop in my head when I've thought about curtains for the front room, so I decided that must be what I really want.
 My good friend Leah stopped by and after chatting for a few minutes I asked her what she thought.  She looked surprised and said she didn't notice them.  This is a good thing.  It means that they are right.  And rightness is important to me when it comes to decorating my house.  Since decor has very little to do with rightness, you can see why decorating is so difficult for me.

4.  *Note: from here on out, when I say "new," I mean "new to us."  Our other big news is that Lee's little 93 Ford Escort has finally bit the dust.  Which means we have to buy another car.   We have never ever had to buy a car before.  I mean, outside of the piddly deals we made with our college cars, both of which belonged to people we knew and were given to us for prices that were easily paid in cash.  Both the cars we have been driving for the past few years had been graciously given to us, so we've never had to deal with car payments.  But now we have to bite the bullet.  I do see the Lord's hand in it; after our move and changing around some health insurance things, we actually have monthly money to work with.  But it's never been our goal to have ANOTHER monthly payment on anything.  That being said, I'm having a crisis of conscience about how excited I am about the thought of getting a new car.  We plan to get a van to accommodate a fifth family member, and that means I'll be the primary driver the vehicle.  I shouldn't be excited about spending this kind of money, but I am.  And it was Lee's car that died, yet I'm the one who seems to be benefiting.  So I'm a little sad that I'm so excited about it.  But I am.

5.  The other thing that happened this week was our trip to an ENT to evaluate Joya's ears.  She's had three ear infections this year, which is too many.  Lee took the morning off of work, which was a good thing, because we got to the doctor's at 10:15 for our 10:30 appointment.  They finally called us back at 11:40.  All that, and the doctor took a look, saw fluid in her ear and said he wanted to see her again in a month to see if it were still there.  I appreciate the conservative approach, but not the crazy wait time.  I'm not really looking forward to going back, but we'll do what we have to.  I can't decide if I want him to see fluid so we can just get the tubes, or if I want it to be clear and hope that maybe this was just a crazy ear year for her.  I really dislike it when she gets those fevers.  The waiting begins.

This marks the last fall that I'll ever spend not sending my girls to school.  I'm trying to savor it, as much as my nauseous, tired pregnant body will allow.  The good news is fall is in the air!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quick 5

Happy Friday, everyone.  Happy Friday indeed.

1.  Last weekend was so refreshing.  I got to chat with friends in person.  I got to eat at restaurants without asking for high chairs and kid menus.  I got to paint pottery.  I got to eat at Blue Parrot.  I can't say how honored I am that my dear friend Becky flew all the way out here just to spend the weekend with me.  Such a good time.  Lee seemed to manage okay with the girls too.  I even found this little gem on our camera, which suggests that Daddy had a special dinner in mind for the girls:

2.  The other day Alaina called for me to hurry to the bathroom.  When I got there, she insisted that I take a picture, because apparently she discovered a fantastic new pose:
That was it.  That was all she wanted.

3.  Joya made a big step this week.  She has officially graduated from the high chair to a booster chair at the table.  I'm pretty sure I moved Alaina at a much younger age, but it was so easy just to keep Joya in the high chair.  So basically I buckled down and finally bought another for her.  She handled it like such a champ that I'm feeling kind of bad that I didn't do it a few months ago.

4.  And just because, here are my two little girls eating snack together:
Guess Alaina has been giving Joya posing lessons.

5.  Yesterday I was playing a silly game on the computer (Bubble Safari, anyone?) and I was stuck.  I asked Alaina if she had any ideas on how I could beat the level and she said no.  Then she said, "But I know who the smartest man in the world is." 

"Oh really?"  I replied.  "Who?"

"Uncle Josh," she said.  "We should ask him."

So, Josh, any ideas on how to beat level 95 in Bubble Safari?

Fall IS coming, people.  Do not be dismayed.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quick 5

Good morning, Starshine!  The Earth says hello!

1.  Last week Alaina made a sign that says "Alaina's Prayer Spot" in Sunday School.  It's the size of a piece of construction paper, and has a loop of yarn strung through it so she can hang it up.  She likes to hang it on the doorknob of the bathroom when she goes in to take care of business.  My little multi-tasker.

2.  I'm in a bit of a conundrum about what to do about Alaina and her thumb.  She's been a thumb-sucker since she was three months old, and I've always loved that it has spared us the midnight paci hunts that I find myself on with Joya.  However, she IS four years old now.  We've told her she can have her thumb at rest time and night time, but she still pops the thing in her mouth at all times of the day, especially in the car.  So yesterday I put a band-aid on her thumb to remind her that she isn't suppose to be sucking it during the day and she flipped out.  Am I choosing the wrong battle?  I know she won't be sucking her thumb in college or anything, but do I even need to crack down on it, or let it run it's course? 

3.  The A/C works like a dream.  Although the greatest thing lately is that while it's still mid-90s during the day, it's starting to drop down to the lower 60s at night.  With our windows open and fans sucking in the air during the night, if I shut everything up by 8:00, the A/C doesn't even need to kick on until about 4:00 in the afternoon.  I can live this way for awhile, I think.

4.  This weekend is going to be lovely.  My sister Jamie has arranged a Mommy-free overnighter for my birthday, and a couple of my all-time favorite people are going to join us.  My dear friend Becky from college is actually flying in, and our college friend Kristy (who lives probably 13 miles from me, but I only see every 18 months or so) is going to come too.  Jamie set everything up, and I'm really looking forward to it.  Yes, my birthday was last month, but it takes time to get everyone's schedules together.  It was worth the wait.  I expect the days to be filled with eating without wiping up faces, watching uninterrupted chick-flicks (Return to Me?  You've Got Mail?  So many choices!) and a blissful night of sleep where I don't have to set my alarm for 6:10 on Saturday morning.  A big thanks to my accommodating husband for agreeing to watch the girls for 24 hours or so.  :)

5.  I'm at a standstill with the house.  (Okay, in all honesty I'm at a million different standstills when it comes to my house, but let's focus on one.)  I need curtains for the front window.  It had broken, dark blinds on it when we moved in, which we of course threw away.  It's a nice, big window.  But it's open all the time.  People have to walk directly past it to get to the front door, which gives them the nice opportunity to gawk in at us before we even have a chance to decide whether or not we want to answer the door.  And it faces east, so in the morning we get a good hours shot of morning sun.  That might be nice in the winter, but not when I'm trying to keep the house cool as long as I can.  The problem is, I'm a little paralyzed when it comes to getting curtains.  I feel like it's a big deal; it's a big investment and a large main part of the decor, and I stink at decor.  Looking a pictures online doesn't help me.  But I'm ready for a little privacy.  See what I mean?  Standstill.

Have a great weekend, folks, and a lovely week.  My little sis turns the big 2-8 on Monday, so if you think about it, send a big ol' Many Happy Returns toward Canada on that day.  Happy Birthday, Carolyn!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quick 5

1.  Today is the day our a/c will be fixed.  But the Lord has taken care of us this week by sending clouds and rain almost every afternoon.  It has made the afternoons downright pleasant.  I know weather is pretty impersonal and all that, but I always take it as an "I love you" from Jesus.  I hope the rest of the summer is like this (although the forecast says differently.)

2.  We had our air ducts cleaned on Tuesday by a delightful man named Pat.  And I cannot believe the difference it's made already.  And we haven't even turned on the a/c yet.  Our house has not smelled like our house yet, and that's always been kind of a bummer.  There has been a faint but unmistakable smell of old cigarette smoke in this house since we moved in, and it's made it hard for me to settle in.  But he cleaned and sanitized the ducts, and we may be able to see the end of this smoke smell.  If you live in the Denver area and need an air duct man, let me know.

3.  Our poor little Joya has another ear infection.  It's her third one this year, which means we've won a trip to see an ENT in a few weeks for her to be evaluated for tubes.  I don't even want to think about what all that entails right now, but it would be nice to not have to worry about her spiking fevers every other month. 

4.  We (and by we, I mean Lee and me.  The girls don't care) have been enjoying the Olympics around here.  I think swimming might be my favorite event, although we both really get into beach volleyball.  I used to like gymnastics, but some of the joy is gone now that I cannot figure out their scoring system.  The little green, yellow and red symbols help some, but it's just too hard to know what is good and what is not.  I've seen more water polo than I've ever wanted to, but other than that it's been fun. 

5.  My tiny little baby bro leaves for college next week.  He's a good kid; we'll miss him a lot.  I'm excited for him, though.  I had such a good college experience, and I hope he does too.  I don't really envy the four years (or so) of school work he has ahead of him, but I do find myself longing for dorm life.  Not all of dorm life (like sharing bathrooms and all that) but having a cafeteria to see to all your meal needs.  I did NOT appreciate it like I should have when I was in school.  To not only have your meals provided, but to have at least a few options at every meal was practically heaven, and I didn't even know it.  I hope that college students don't take that for granted.  One of my few regrets in life.

Happy August, everyone.